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I thrice presented him a kingly crown/ which he did thrice refuse"

Just wondering what the rhetorical technique is in that phrase.

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3 Answers 3

Although Ham and Bacon suggests anastrophe, this could also be an example of diacope.

The repetition of a word or phrase broken up by one or more intervening words. Plural diacopae or diacopes: "Put out the light, and then put out the light." (Othello, the Moor of Venice V.ii)

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+1, rhetoric.byu.edu/Figures/D/diacope.htm –  Unreason Jun 17 '11 at 13:12

I think this is poetical. There's the repetition of the word "thrice" for emphasis on the number of times it was done.

IT's also a little bit of anastrophe, that is, the words were arranged a little strangely i.e. which he did thrice refuse, so that the words would rhyme properly, or so that the rhythmn will be better.

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After searching a bit, I think I have a more specific term than Raven

Epanalepsis from Gk. ep, "in addition", ana, "again," and lepsis, "a taking". It is also known as resumptio, the echo sound, the slow return, resumption.

Repetition of the same word or clause after intervening matter. More strictly, repetition at the end of a line, phrase, or clause of the word or words that occurred at the beginning of the same line, phrase, or clause.

examples:

  • "In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these." —Paul Harvey
  • "Believe not all you can hear, tell not all you believe." —Native American proverb
  • "A lie begets a lie." —English proverb
  • "To each the boulders that have fallen to each." —Robert Frost, "Mending Wall"

It falls under figures of repetition for which conduplicatio and ploce are general terms. Diacope is a very close relative and I think it applies here as well. However, diacope, from etymology - "to cut in two, cut through" with common name the doubler suggest that more emphasis is on duplication and emotion:

from Shakespeare's Tempest:
"All lost! To prayers, to prayers! All lost!"

where epanalepsis describes the exact structure..

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